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Giant Squid Found Dead

Scott Corrales's picture

By Scott Corrales
Latin America Correspondent

Source: Criptozoología en España
Date: 23 August 2011

Spain: Giant Squid Found Dead South of Tenerife
By Javier Resines

A camera crew recording the dolphin colony that occupies the waters to the south of Tenerife (Canary Islands) has located the remains of a giant squid floating some two miles from the shore.

The specimen of Architheuthis was found facing the cliff known as Los Gigantes by a camera crew making a documentary on warm-water dolphins, according to Rafa Herrero with the Aquawork corporation, which specializes in the filming and study of the seas in the Canary Islands. The animal was well-preserved in spite of missing part of its tentacles and eyes, but retained its original pigmentation.

Professor Angel Guerra of the Spanish Oceanography Institute believes that it may be an adult female measuring 8 meters long (26.5 feet) if its tentacles were intact. “A female Architheuthis may measure two and a half meters in its hood, which would suggest a total length of 18 to 20 meters (59-65 ft.). Its eye is the largest in the animal kingdom, resembling a handball,” adds Herrero.

The unexpected encounter took place last month, when the camera crew found several pardelas (shearwaters, puffinus griseus) flying over the open sea, a sign that there are dolphins or other creatures present, or some food floating on the surface. When approaching the site, they found the birds were pecking away at the remains of a large carcass belonging to a giant squid, an animal that is also an occasional prey to the tropical dolphin (grampus griseus).

Specialists collected samples of the suckers and the beak to send to the Society for Cetacean Studies in the Canarian Archipelago (SECAC). The team is filming a 55 minute documentary funded by the Mapfre Guanarteme Foundation on the tropical dolphins of southwestern Tenerife, a project that commenced last February and will continue until June 2012.

The depth of the water at Los Gigantes, where the squid was found, is between 800 and 1200 meters, which allows the tropical dolphins to descend constantly to feed. This is an area rich in marine life, especially cephalopods, which form part of the food chain of large marine mammals, including the cachalot whale.

(Translation (c) 2011, Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Javier Resines)


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